Last week, I took my first yoga class, which was a huge step forward, but I definitely overdid it a little. I spent a lot of last week in more pain than I’ve become used to, in large part because I did too many back to back workouts, including that very challenging yoga class.
This setback was a challenge because it threw off my regular routine. I had a set weekly schedule for the workouts I do to keep my ankle moving and build up the stamina and strength, but because I had three consecutive days with a workout (which was not out of the ordinary for me in the past), I was knocked off my feet for the rest of the week.
This week though, I planned a little better.
I didn’t make my usual Sunday trip to the gym, and I didn’t push through as much pain at yoga this week as I did last week. We also took a different approach, doing a body art class this week, which involved less long holds, and more continuous movement.
In some ways, body art was harder for me than last week, but in many ways, it was easier. Most of the movements weren’t too hard on my ankle, and the holds we did were modifiable to minimize the impact on my ankle.
It’s hard though, to know exactly how much pain is too much. Where is the line in a workout? It’s made even harder because everyone’s line is different, and everyone will react to a workout a little different.
That said, our yoga instructor, Parisa, has been super helpful with these classes. She and I are learning my limitations together and making changes as needed. There are still some things I can’t modify, like being up on my toes for a long time, sometimes in yoga and body art, the movement calls for it, and sometimes there isn’t an obvious modification. That’s okay though, because I’m letting my ego take the hit, and sitting out the sections that are too much. I’m not pushing too far beyond my limits, and I’m seriously hoping I don’t spend all week in pain again this week.
In other news, the little things that have been so hard for the last month or so are getting easier. I’m able to balance on my left leg for a signifcant amount of time (and I’m practicing constantly, which I’m sure looks a little odd, since it’s still such a challenge), I can just about do single leg calf raises (these are still incredibly challenging, but getting better almost every day), I can just about do a squat again (not quite to parallel but getting pretty close) and, what is probably the most exciting right now, I can just about walk down a flight of stairs without doing a shuffle step the whole way down. I’ve been able to walk up stairs for a good while, but it’s kind of shocking how much ankle mobility you need to walk down stairs normally. I’ve only got a little bit of mobility to go before it’ll be just about impossible to tell I had ankle surgery when I’m just walking around.
It’s going to be a good while before I’m back to where I want to be, but being able to fool the average person while I’m just walking around feels fantastic. I’m over the sympathy (though I really needed it before) and I’m ready to just be myself again.